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What is a good way to open large files across a WAN?

I have an application deployed into multiple zones and there are some issues with opening larger documents (20-50MB) across the WAN.

Currently the documents are stored in Zone 1 (Americas) and a link stored in the database to the docs.

I have heard some things about blobs in oracle and store binary in sql server 2005. And then perhaps copying the database to other zones.

Any other suggestions or good results with one of the described options?

Your best option here may be caching the document in the requested zone the first time it is requested, and pinging the source document's last modified each time the cached document is requested in order to determine if it needs refreshed. In this case you're only requesting a small piece of information (a date) across the WAN most of the times the document is accessed. This works best for a subset of documents that are frequently requested.

If you have a large set of documents, each infrequently requested by a disparate group, then you may want to look into replicating the documents in each of your zones each time the master is updated. This may best be accomplished by storing the document as binary data in your master database and having the slaves pull from the master.

If you're running on Windows you could look at Distributed File Systems